View Full Version : Combustion vs. DFX+ ?

Triple G
06 June 2003, 01:58 AM
Hi guys....I don't usually venture down to these parts (mostly a Lightwave guy), but I was hoping I could get some feedback from some of you guys.

Here's my predicament: I'm thinking about getting the upgrade to Lightwave 8 with DFX+ (, but since I'm a Mac guy....I really have no use for DFX+.

Here's the thing...I'm planning on getting a PC sometime in the future (probably early next year), so should I hang on to DFX+ and use it then, or should I sell it, and put the money toward a copy of Combustion which I can use here and now on my Mac? I've downloaded the demo of Combustion, and after going through some of the tutorials, it seems a little disorienting (I'm used to AE), but it definitely seems like a powerful program. AE is ok I guess, but I really like the idea of being able to bring in a sequence of layered PSD files...I understand DFX+ will do this, and from what I can gather Combustion will as well, right?

So...what do you guys think? Should I get DFX+ and hang on to it for 7 or 8 months, or should I hock it and grab a copy of Combustion which I can use immediately? Any feedback on pros/cons of each would be greatly appreciated.

06 June 2003, 02:17 AM
Hi Triple G,

I have DFX+ and C2 on the PC and both are quite different than AE but in a good way! I started on AE and then moved to C2 and now DFX+ and I won't go back to AE even if it's the easiest to use when your new.

DFX+ is a lot different than AE as much as C2...having a Mac I'd say go with C2 but if you plan on getting a PC it's a tough call!

However, out of the box C2 has more features than the DFX+ bundle (includes modules 1 and 3) and C2 can do from 8-bit to float...but in my case and in many, 8-bit is plenty enough! :thumbsup:

As for my experience with all 3 apps, I'd say DFX+ and AE are rock stable and DFX+ is growing on me every day! :applause:

I should have the DFX+ review done soon...if you are interested.


Triple G
06 June 2003, 02:34 AM
Thanks for the feedback, Flywaver! One thing that's got me wondering is that it looks like Combustion will give me more features out of the box than I'll get with DFX+ (even with the added modules included with the deal).

You mention the stability of you find that Combustion is not so stable? What kind of problems have you had with it?

And just to make sure...Combustion does allow you to bring in a sequence of layered PSD files, right? This is one feature that I can't believe AE doesn't let you's their own file format for Pete's sake!

Sorry for all the questions...your help is greatly appreciated! :wavey:

Oh, and yes....I'd definitely be interested in that review...:bounce:

06 June 2003, 01:37 PM
Yup you can load grouped or nested PSD layers in C2! :cool:

Since I have been out of it for a while I don't remember how great it worked...will try it again today if I can get that thing to work and not crash everytime I start it!! :annoyed:

Some builds of C2 were stable...for some reasons, the updates screwed more thigs than fixed them, at least for me!

Anyways, you have a very tough choice to make but wait a few...what you could do in the meanttime is try the DF4 demo! :thumbsup:


06 June 2003, 02:56 PM
let me say this: I own and use Digital Fusion 4.02...but I'll offer a few observations:

1. Combustion will import a .PSD sequence just fine.
2. DF will import a .PSD sequence just fine
3. NewTek needs to fix the .PSD exporter so you don't have to rearrange your layers (but it's no big deal).
4. DF is really fast at what it does.
5. C2 sometimes bogs down on things
6. C2 has great Color correction tools
7. DF has great color correction tools
8. DF's node based workflow is fast and works better than C2's
9. C2's node based workflow looks nice, but really is slow (it is unusable in my opinion having used DF...but it sure looks cool for demos)
10. From a UI standpoint, both apps have a nice workflow.

It's really a hard decision to make. I'd say try the demo out of DF to see if it fits the way you work. You seem aware of just try DF when you get a chance. How soon will you be getting your PC? If you get a PC, make sure it's the newer models with the 800mhz Front Side Bus.

Triple G
06 June 2003, 05:04 PM
Thanks for all the help, guys...this really is a tough call to make. Well, I guess it's a moot point if I don't get some work before the end of the month...or else I won't be able to afford to buy anything...:thumbsdow

I guess I'll take the wait and see approach for now... :shrug:

Oh, and Poli...regarding the type of PC I'm planning on getting...I've had my eye on one of these ( for a while. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to buy in 7 or 8 months, they'll have something even more powerful available. :drool:

06 June 2003, 08:03 PM


:bowdown: the divine BOXX

06 June 2003, 08:04 PM
in all honesty...if you go the C2 route or DF route, you'll be happy.

provided you don't have the crappy install problems Flywaver has been having.:D

06 June 2003, 09:12 PM
:scream: :wip: :thumbsdow
Indeed...for some reasons C2 refuses to start, was working fine a few months back! :cry:

Probably it didn't like me installing DF and playing with it for a while! :cool:

Like Policarpo said, either way you will have a killer app! Oh! Will you sell your G4?? IF so, whats the specs and what's included?


Triple G
06 June 2003, 09:41 PM
Originally posted by Flywaver
Will you sell your G4?? IF so, whats the specs and what's included?

I'm not the moment, I'm leaning toward keeping it. But we'll see when the time comes...if I need the extra space and the extra $$, I might consider putting it up on eBay. was originally a G4/450 (AGP Graphics). I upgraded it with a Sonnet Encore 1GHz processor, it's got 1GB PC100 RAM, a Radeon 8500 64MB (AGP 2X), (2) 18GB Ultra 160 SCSI drives (7200rpm, I believe), and a DVD-RAM drive built-in.

It's getting a bit long in the tooth, but it still pulls its weight pretty well for most things. :)

06 June 2003, 09:46 PM
Oh ok...was looking for a Dual G4 1ghz at least. Had a Dual 867 for review last year and it was really not as zippy as my Athlon I had back then!! :eek:

However, FCP rulez...soooo much more fun than Premiere and since there is also shake I was thinking of getting a G4 as a second station, but I can't afford to get a brand new one at the moment. :thumbsdow


Triple G
06 June 2003, 04:13 AM
FCP and Shake....:drool: I'd love to be able to afford those...(the little bit of NLE that I need to do, After Effects handles decently enough...though Final Cut would be nice to have just incase) :)

FWIW...I just did a tutorial covering motion blur in Combustion....WOW! Makes AE's built-in motion blur look like a kid's toy! Even with Reelsmart Motion Blur for AE (which I think is great), I think Combustion's MB appears to be way more powerful. The only advantage that Reelsmart has (that I can see) is that it lets you use motion from another layer as the source of your blur...but honestly, I've never found a use for that function anyway...:shrug:

06 June 2003, 01:04 PM
hehe...shake looks mighty impressive but I am afraid it will take a few contracts before we can afford it.

I will be more than happy with DFX+ and C2...if it ever works again! :thumbsdow :shrug:

Yeah...I have ReelSmart, I did a review of both Twixtor and MotionBlur...very nice plugins, although they can be really slow!

Once you discover the power of DF and C2 you won't want AE anymore...I know some stick with it but I like C2 and DF more even if they are harder at first.


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